FAQ: Treating a Toothache

when to treat a toothacheToothaches are no laughing matter. They can be minor, or severe enough to affect your whole day. Many people suffer through oral pain because they are unaware of how to properly treat a toothache. If the pain is severe, do not postpone visiting your dentist. In some cases, toothaches can be safely treated at home until your dentist can be reached. Most toothaches can be prevented by consistently practicing good oral hygiene and scheduling bi-annual visits to your dentist for preventive care.

Why does my tooth hurt?

Toothaches may arise for a variety of reasons. Most commonly cavities, or tooth decay, create a painful environment in or around the affected tooth. You could also be experiencing an abscess, or an infection of the tooth root, that can cause throbbing, excruciating pain. Before attempting to treat a toothache, check the painful tooth and surrounding area for any noticeable damage. You should look for cracks in the tooth, inflammation of gum tissue, and any open sores. If the pain is severe, or persists for more than 1-2 days, visit your dentist for an exam as soon as possible.

What can I do for the pain while waiting to visit my dentist?

First, make sure your mouth is clean. Rinse with warm water and gently floss around the painful area to remove any food particles that may be contributing to your pain. Taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen may help to alleviate some of your discomfort. When treating a toothache at home, consider placing a cold compress on the outside of your cheek to help relieve some of the pain and inflammation.

What will a dentist do about my toothache?

During your visit, your dentist may ask you to describe your toothache. Is it dull, sharp, throbbing, persistent, etc.? Be sure to also mention anything that makes your pain better or worse (i.e. food, cold drinks, pressure). After conducting an examination, your dentist may also take x-rays, depending on the suspected cause of your toothache. Once a diagnosis is reached, an appropriate treatment will be prescribed to address your toothache. These treatments can range from simple antibiotics and cavity fillings to more in-depth processes, like a root canal or tooth extraction.


Dr. Bob Jing has served patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth for many years. Together with his caring, compassionate, and highly-skilled team at 7 Day Dental, Dr. Jing is dedicated to making good dental health available to as many people as possible. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation or appointment, contact our office closest to you at 817-405-2001 on Jacksboro Highway, or at 817-405-0195 on Seminary Drive.